45 of Ricky Gervais' best jokes and one liners

Since entering the public spotlight as David Brent in 2001, Ricky Gervais has made enemies of Mel Gibson, Johnny Depp, Caitlyn Jenner, trophy hunters and the Christian Church.

Unflinchingly offensive and often painfully witty, Gervais appears to take pleasure in making audiences both squirm and laugh.

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Now, the 56 year old writer is set to return to the small screen with Netflix comedy After Life. To celebrate we've compiled 45 of his best - and often most cringe inducing - jokes from previous shows and The Office.

Warning: adult humour follows

"Where there's a will-there's a relative!"

"1st of December, World Aids Day….I don’t think it’ll ever take off like Christmas."

“I like a drink as much as the next man. Unless the next man is Mel Gibson.”

"It's gonna be a night of partying and heavy drinking. Or as Charlie calls it: breakfast."

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“It seems like everything this year was three-dimensional, except the characters in The Tourist.”

“You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway.”

“My greatest hero is Nelson Mandela. What a man. Incarcerated for 25 years, he was released in 1990 and he hasn't reoffended. I think he's going straight, which shows you prison does work.”

“Remember, when you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It is only painful for others. The same applies when you are stupid.”

“Mondays are fine. It's your life that sucks.”

A David Brent classic (Photo: BBC)

“Remember, if you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing.”

"I could solve the world’s problems if I… cared."

"I can have a go at the French cause I’m half French half English with a stupid name like Gervais. No I am, I’m half French half English and um I’ve got qualities of both, French and English which is good, so um… I am crap in bed but at least I’ve got bad breath."

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"Do commandos not wear pants? They must wear pants, don’t they?"

“Same sex marriage is not a gay privilege, it’s equal rights. Privilege would be something like gay people not paying taxes. Like churches don’t.”

"I've never worked out what the moral of Humpty Dumpty is. I can only think of: Don't sit on a wall, if you're an egg."

"Avoid employing unlucky people - throw half of the pile of CVs in the bin without reading them."

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"For any of you who don't know, the Golden Globes are just like the Oscars, but without all that esteem. The Golden Globes are to the Oscars what Kim Kardashian is to Kate Middleton. A bit louder, a bit trashier, a bit drunker, and more easily bought."

"If your boss is getting you down, look at him through the prongs of a fork and imagine him in jail."

"I can't find someone funny whom I don't like. Hitler told great jokes."

"America champions the underdog. We champion the underdog until he's not the underdog anymore, and he annoys us."

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"You have to be 100% behind someone, before you can stab them in the back."

"Remember, being healthy is basically dying as slowly as possible." (Photo: Universal)

"I'd like to thank God for making me an atheist."

"Piracy doesn't kill music, boy bands do."

"My wealth and happiness would suggest that God definitely does love me. If he existed of course. Which he doesn't."

"Remember, being healthy is basically dying as slowly as possible."

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"Following someone on Twitter and asking them to tweet about something else is like stalking someone and asking them to go a different route."

"Please don't worship me. I'm just an ordinary guy, with lots of followers trying to spread my message. Sort of like Jesus Christ I guess."

"iPhones are Barbie Dolls for grown men. You carry them round, dress them up in little outfits, accessorise, & get a new one every year."

"Give a man a fish, and he'll probably follow you home expecting more fish."

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"It seems to be true, particularly in middle America, that those most militant about using up fossil fuels, don't actually believe in fossils"

As David Brent

"You just have to accept that some days you are the pigeon, and some days you are the statue."

"Welcome to Alcoholics Anonymous! No - purely social. I know someone who is an alchoholic and it is no laughing matter - particularly for his wife. And she's got alopecia. So... not a happy homelife."

"When people say to me: would you rather be thought of as a funny man or a great boss? My answer's always the same, to me, they're not mutually exclusive."

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"I don't live by 'the rules' you know, and if there's one person who has influenced me in that way of thinking, someone who is a maverick, someone who does 'that' to the system then it's Ian Botham."

“I suppose I’ve created an atmosphere where I’m a friend first and a boss second. Probably an entertainer third.”

“Some straight women like it the wrong way. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay. One in 10, apparently. That seems a bit high. You might be. If you are, good luck to you. Just make sure it’s legal and be safe.”

“People see me and see the suit, but they know I’m rock and roll through and through. You know ‘Live fast, die young’? Not my way. Live fast, sure. Too bloody fast sometimes! But die young? Die old.”

“Who says famine has to be depressing?”

“Can I ask you something? Who does your tampons?”

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“You see all these white middle-class fuddy duddies going, ‘Oh, we’ve got to find the new equivalent’. They’re looking in Oxford and Cambridge. No. Dr Dre, yeah. Ice T. They’re the equivalent of Wordsworth."

“We’re like one big organism, one big animal. Yeah? The guys upstairs on the phone – they’re the mouth. The guys down here, the hands.- And what part are you? – Good question.Probably the humour.”

“We’re all on-line here. Hooked up to the Worldwide Web – Internet. No shopping.”

"If you were to ask me to name three geniuses, I probably wouldn’t say Einstein, Newton You know. I’d go Milligan, Cleese, Everett. Sessions.”

“I don’t care if you’re black, brown, yellow – Orientals make very good workers, for example.”

"El vino did flow."

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